International Soccer League

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DensParker
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International Soccer League

Post by DensParker » Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:00 pm

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone could help with the International Soccer League which ran from 1960-65 I'm the summer in America.

It was invitational to the runner-ups of the league but in the press at the time, it was spoken in the same breath as the European Cup and Inter-Cities.

Was this a competitive competition that would see appearances and goals added to a players stats or was this more of a glorified friendly tournament.

Looking at a few teams, some add it to their players final.tallies and some don't.

Merseman
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Re: International Soccer League

Post by Merseman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:53 pm

It was certainly awarded to the league runner-up in 1959-60 and 1960-61 (i.e. in preference to both Fairs Cup and Anglo-French-Scottish Friendship Cup). Dundee went as champion of 1961-62 and also participated in European Cup. Back to runners-up for 1962-63. Not exactly sure what happened for 1963-64 as Hearts (4th) went whilst Celtic and Kilmarnock above them and Dunfermline below them entered Fairs Cup - was it dropped below the Fairs Cup at this time but Hearts preferred New York? Then lastly Kilmarnock went as champion of 1964-65 and also participated in European Cup.

Kilmarnock reached the Final in 1960 and lost to Bangu.

It had a fairly strong entry - Burnley were English champions; Kilmarnock were Scottish runners-up; Glenavon were Irish champion; Red Star Belgrade were Yugoslav champions; Norrkoping were Swedish champions; Rapid Vienna were Austrian champions; Sporting Lisbon were Portgueuse runner-up; Bangu was Rio de Janeiro runners-up (no national league at that time). Not so clear why Sampdoria, Nice and Bayern Munich (although no national league in Germany at that time).

I suppose a question mark might be over the criteria and calibre of the opposition - did they remain high after 1960? - rather than the criteria and calibre of the Scottish entrants. Then again you could say the same of the Anglo-Scottish Cup - where you'd the Scottish clubs directly behind the UEFA Cup places facing increasingly low-ranking English opponents as the 1970s wore on.

DensParker
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Re: International Soccer League

Post by DensParker » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:09 pm

Dundee were offered it when Rangers were ahead and it looked like they were going to win the league so even after winning it, we still decided to go. After that, I'm not sure.

I've noticed that West Ham don't count Bobby Moore's appearances from that competition to his final tally. Kind of eager to know from any Kilmarnock stattos if it's included in their final stats.

I'd say the competition had fairly strong teams playing each year.

I guess it's one of those where, some clubs count it, but some don't scenario?

Merseman
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Re: International Soccer League

Post by Merseman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:15 pm

Seems like a "grey area" competition, yep.

ISL commitments required Hearts to withdraw from the Summer Cup knockout stages in 1964... Dunfermline and Hibs were a dead heat for runners-up in their section forcing a playoff (at Tynecastle) for Hearts place in SFs.

Hibs won and went on to reached the Final. It had to be held-over to August 1964 due to the Aberdeen typhoid emergency at which point they drew 4-4 on aggregate. Hibs finally won a decider at Pittodrie in September!


Worth adding that Aberdeen, Dundee Utd and Hibs also spent their closed seasons in North America in 1967 - when they "appeared" as Washington Whips, Dallas Tornado and Toronto City respectively in the inaugurual United Soccer Association... Washington/Aberdeen reached the Final losing a thrilller 6-5 to LA Wolves/Wolverhampton Wanderers in "sudden death double overtime" at the Los Angeles Coliseum. USA involved a more intense program than the ISL ever had, comprising as it did 12 regular season games.

At the end of the season the USA merged with the rival National Professional Soccer League - also launched in 1967 but using indigenous teams - to found the North American Soccer League which with Pele, Beckenbauer et al boomed during 1970s then collapsed in 1980s.

However in 1969 the opening part of the NASL season comprised an 8-game 'International Cup' league. Dundee Utd appeared as Dallas Tornado again, and Kilmarnock as St Louis Stars.

Then in 1970, 1971 and 1973 games with selected foreign clubs counted in the regular season NASL standings. Hearts were among those chosen in 1971: their 5 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat thus counted (against their opponents) in the domestic US league, which is presumably unique in Scottish football.

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